How does your Vegetable Garden Grow?

20 May

Today I finally got some much needed work done in my garden.  I worked on a specific area of my back yard that I’ve been trying to transform into a vegetable garden.  For the first time I thought I’d try and grow vegetables from seed.  For the most part, I just don’t have the patience for seeds.  I end up pulling up whatever’s growing because I’m convinced it’s a weed, when it fact it was the little plant just trying to do his thing.  I prefer to buy my plants once they’ve been established a little and I already know what it’s going to look like.  No surprises.  No sudden deaths.  No blood on my hands.  Well, some deaths, I don’t have that much of a green thumb, but I’m getting better.

Anyway, I bit the bullet this year and I started with about 21 different vegetable/herb varieties and grew them in a makeshift greenhouse.  I just used a plastic tote, lined the bottom with clothespins to keep the seedlings from sitting in standing water, and then filled in with rocks to make it all nice and snug.  I made little cups from torn strips of newspaper and filled them with potting mix and then dropped the seeds in.  My hubby wrote out the names of the seed on a label and I stuck them on plastic toothpicks.  Easy peasy.  Once I was done, I used a water bottle to spray all the plants, put the lid on and put them in my laundry room.  Each day I check on them and watered when necessary.

Cauliflower March 19, 2012

Seedlings March 19, 2012

Seedlings March 25, 2012

They were doing really well and I thought I might just have the hang of this.  Before long they had outgrown the greenhouse and it was time to transplant them into pots.  All the while I was preparing my garden for the final transplant.  I’ve been working on this patch of my yard that we used to call the wheelbarrow garden.  I have another vegetable garden in a different area of my yard but I really wanted to utilize this space and grow some different things.  It was a LOT of work.  Removing the furniture was the easy part.  Removing the Black-eyed Susan that had taken over the entire section of the fence was pretty tough.  Once the area was clear, I was faced with preparing the ground.  It was covered in pavers and rocks that I had lovingly placed about 8 or 9 years ago.  For the past 2 months or so I’ve been painstakingly trying to get as many of the rocks out as I can, but I finally gave up and just decided I needed to just move forward.  Rocks are my friend.  Hopefully they’ll be my veggies’ friend too.

While I had the back-breaking job of removing rocks and transferring them to another planter, my hubby had the back-breaking job of trenching and irrigating the planter for me.

Trenching and Irrigating

Today I finally got the plants in the ground – those that survived anyway.  I wasn’t left with much from my early successful seedlings.  I purchased a few things from Wal-Mart and still have more to get for my other planter.  More about that planter in another post.

I found this great fishing crate at the Rose Bowl flea market on Mother’s Day.  My original plan was to use it to grow lettuce, and I specifically wanted the crate right where I put it.  However, my great friend Monique came by today and convinced me it would be a better home for my strawberries because of the amount of sun it would get each day.  Thankfully, I also bought a really cool smaller crate that would do well for the lettuce.  More about that planter later too.

Independent Fish Co., San Pedro, Ca.

Greg added a plywood bottom as a protective layer from the soil and I lined it with thick roofing paper and then weed barrier before filling it with soil and compost and then finally my strawberry plant.

Wheelbarrow Garden, April 2006

This is what the garden looked like about 6 years ago…needless to say the Black-eyed Susan had taken over the fence and everything else in its path.

Vegetable Garden, May 2012


I still have quite a bit to do but I’m happy with what we accomplished today.  Greg was digging holes and shoveling compost while I did the easy job; deciding what would go where and then placing them in the ground.  4 kinds of beans along the back fence, 2 kinds of peas along the right (not shown), 2 kinds of eggplant, cauliflower and strawberries in the crate.  I lined the edges of the garden with Marigolds not only because they’re friends to a vegetable garden (aphids don’t like them – which suits me fine because I don’t like aphids), but also because they’re so bright and cheerful.  While I type this, my back is aching and I’m tired, but it’s all good because we got so much done today.  Stuff I’ve been trying to do for over a month.  It was like the little engine that could.  I knew we’d get there eventually, but the pace was killing me.  I couldn’t have done it without the help of my Man and my friend, Monique.  And as a thank you, here’s where I plug both their blogs… and

Thanks for indulging me today.  My day was all I hoped it would be – I hope your day was as well.  Happy planting.

One Response to “How does your Vegetable Garden Grow?”

  1. Monique May 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    It looks GREAT! You both did a wonderful job. All the work will be totally worth it when your enjoying all those fresh veggies! I’ll call you later when i get the strawberries and fern dug up for you. Thanks for the plug! :oD

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